In ‘I Guess,’ the nihilistic new single from Never Knows Best, we glimpse the evolution of the band that was once encapsulated within the raw intensity of “Wait and See.” This past offering, fierce and inventive, gives way to “I Guess,” an illustration of musician Cameron Dunbar’s finely honed command of his expansive palette. After years of hibernating in silence, the band emerges, belting out a glossy pop anthem.
Nestled between Ian Curtis’s resounding monotone and Peter Steele’s resonant growl, the unpolished essence of Dunbar’s voice finds its home. This voice anchors the heavenly aura of the synthesizer-backed melodies with a compelling mix of urgency and poignant emotion. This arresting blend tends to sneak up on you, then spiritedly sweeps you off your feet and into the throbbing heartbeat of a smashing four-on-the-floor rhythm.
The title number, originally a humble acoustic composition, was crafted in the hands of Dunbar as he journeyed through the shadowy valley of profound melancholy.
“It’s really a song about nihilism; an apathetic resignation to push on even if our society seems empty and vapid.”
Indeed, Never Knows Best burrows into the melodic treasure trove of the early 90s, grafting grunge-induced malaise onto a techno backbone. They take the best bits from metal, grunge, and techno, and ingeniously spin it into a concoction that soars far beyond the stereotype of “just another synth band.” The culmination is an enthralling hybrid sound, blending the old and the new with a dash of creative spark.
Listen to the song below:
Cameron Dunbar, once a strummer of the indie rock world, has morphed into a maestro of dark synthpop, birthing Never Knows Best from the embers of his prior solo venture, The Blinking Lights. Drawing from the classic allure of Joy Division, The Cure, and Depeche Mode, and mingling it with the contemporary resonances of Chvrches, Purity Ring, and Cold Cave, Dunbar set his sights on redefining his sonic profile. His tools? An eclectic assembly of hardware synthesizers, rhythmic electronic drum beats, and the raw energy of distorted guitars.
Originally constructed around the notion of a “one-man show,” where live looping, computers, and vintage electronic devices painted the performance landscape, Never Knows Best decided to expand. The addition of Justin Schultz enriched the live act, resulting in a more gratifying concert experience. The band, in their own words, converge the nostalgic hum of retro electronics with advanced technology and the aggressive strum of post-punk guitars.